On February 23, Director-General Scott Lai of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston congratulated Vermont Governor Phil Scott on his new position in Montpelier. Mr. Lai was also invited to the Vermont House of Representatives, where he witnessed the passing of a resolution in support of Taiwan. He was also invited to speak at the Vermont House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, and met with Vermont state leaders to further strengthen Taiwan-Vermont bilateral trade, educational, and cultural relations.
Director-General Lai and Division Director John Chu visited Vermont on February 23 and 24. On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Mr. Lai congratulated Governor Scott, and said that he looks forward to the Governor promoting Taiwan-Vermont bilateral trade and educational/cultural exchanges under his leadership.
After the visit, Messrs. Lai and Chu were invited to the Vermont House of Representatives to witness the passing of a resolution in support of Taiwan. The resolution is the 13th time that the House has passed such a resolution, which reiterates the strong friendship and support between Taiwan and Vermont. The resolution applauds the achievement of the R. O. C.’s 2016 Presidential Election and supports bilateral relations between Taiwan and Vermont and Taiwan and the U.S. It also reiterates its support of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and conventions including the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Vermont is the second state in New England to pass a similar resolution, after the Rhode Island House of Representatives in early February.
Director-General Lai also delivered an address at the invitation of the Vermont House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, in which he introduced Taiwan’s democratic and economic development, Taiwan-U.S. relations, and the growth of Taiwan-Vermont bilateral trade on the afternoon of February 23. Mr. Lai exchanged views with Committee Chairman Bill Botzow and more than 10 representatives. This is the third consecutive year that Director-General Lai has been invited to deliver an address before the Committee.
Taiwan and Vermont continue to maintain a close relationship. In fact, Taiwan is Vermont’s seventh largest export market, with exports totaling $110 million in 2015. Main exports from Vermont to Taiwan include electronics, video equipment, plastic products, and fiber-optic instruments. Taiwan is also Vermont’s eleventh largest import market, with imports totaling $41 million in 2015. Vermont and Taiwan have also shared sister relations since 1999.